9 Questions to Ask When Seeking Construction Software

construction software

We believe the best business development tool for construction industry companies is ours. We have the best data, pre-sorted, and customized for your business and your locale. But to stay alive in today’s techno-business environment, you need additional construction software.

2020 Construction Software Ratings

After it’s said and done, business is business, whether it’s a hot dog stand or a Big 6 corporation. The construction industry is unlike any other. Construction software for operational management should target our needs.

Out of 474 software reviews, many received 4.5 stars and should not be discounted. Here are 50 (of 83) ratings, according to reviews for this year’s 5-star construction software:

Neo Intelligence
CrewTracks
Slenke
K-Ops
Power Tools
Spitfire
Job Dox
Cordell Estimator Platinum
Site2Site
PCS
Construction Inspector
CM Fusion
Bizns Tool Subcontractor Software
Infinitrac
SnapSuite
WenPlan
Site Specs
BOCS
Fresh Projects
onsite.solutions
Fieldly
Mobilengine
Expo-Net
iZak
Riskcast
Realtraker
ONETEAM
Glaass
Samson
TruckIT
Breez Workforce
Copronet
ProPlanner
zbuilder
Breinz
SiteSupervisor
BuilderConsole
eBUILD ERP
Vitruvi
Ed Controls
Goldenseal
Consysa
SmartUse
TradeSoft
CommittedCost
BuildMetric
ClickHome
Hit-Office
Sergeant Schedule
TopBuilder

Nine Questions: Construction Software

Do several comparisons before choosing your construction software. First, define what you most need: project cost estimator, accounts receivable/payable, employee, or equipment tracking? Identify where you need to save time and money. If you are out of control in one or more areas of business operations, make a “where-we’re-losing-it” list.

You don’t have to be an IT (integrated technology) pro, but if you yourself don’t understand the questions, do your homework (or consult the nearest 14-year-old kid). Here are nine questions to ask software vendors:

  1. Can I contact some of your customers?
  2. Can you help us with training and technical support?
  3. Did you develop the solution in-house or did you piece it together from other sources?
  4. Does your software integrate with my old software?
  5. How often will I have to “upgrade?”
  6. Is your software open-source or unified?
  7. What’s the cost of ongoing service and technical support?
  8. Will my – and my clients’ – information be secure?
  9. Will the construction software quickly adapt to industry trends?

Construction Monitor offers BI (business intelligence) for any organization looking to grow. Contact us now with questions about our statistics for lead generation.
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*Construction Monitor does not recommend nor endorse any Brand of business management software.

Construction Services: Property Plumbing

construction service

We think plumbing is more than “essential service.” Plumbing pros within construction services provide a critical service. 

Plumbing Industry Construction Services Outlook

For a while, new construction was so lucrative everyone that could got into the business. Whole subdivisions were developed using the “cheap and fast” model. Then, the fly-by-night building companies vanished.

That led to HVAC and plumbing professionals focusing on construction services damage control in some areas of the country. Repairs and emergency services will always be a significant source of revenue for our plumbing industry friends.

A new day is dawning because the internet brings knowledge to information-starved property owners. Focus is shifting toward quality construction and energy-saving options, like tankless water heating and shower/sink on-demand water usage.

When the coronavirus-related unemployment rates hit record highs, disposable income vanished for many homeowners. The demand for new plumbing installations and renovations nosedived as well. Before the pandemic, plumbing industry average rate of growth was 2.1%.

It’s difficult to find confident construction services growth predictions. Still, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 10% increase in jobs for construction services-related plumbers and pipefitters. It’s also predicted by 2050 there will be a 50% increase in freshwater demands. 

Commercial Property Plumbing: A New COVID Problem

Plumber Magazine says the risk of Legionella bacteria may increase in buildings that have been sitting empty for months. Legionella bacteria grow in stagnant water.

You may want to contact commercial property owners and managers in your area about additional water testing before they reopen. Even if you don’t provide water-testing among your construction services, this goodwill effort will not go unnoticed. (It could be a subtle marketing promotion for your business.)

Here’s a not-so-subtle way to generate new jobs and relevant leads for your company:

Construction Monitor Can Expand Your Plumbing Industry Outlook

Construction Monitor has construction services building statistics for the U.S. Our team wants your plumbing business to thrive. That’s why we encourage you to utilize the data we provide and use it with intent.

If you need marketing strategies for your plumbing company, contact us today. We aren’t successful until you are.

Understanding Construction Trends in Your Market

Your market is unique as your company. One small company has a baritone. Their work is great; their prices are solid. But some residential renovation businesses say they hire this firm because the guy sings as he works.

The key to success is capitalizing on your uniqueness. Once you understand (and appreciate) who you are, it’s time to understand the construction trends in your market.

FYI: Local Construction Trends Analytics

Successful companies – the ones you want to be when you grow up – are examining construction trends every day. Here are characteristics of home building companies that use construction data:

  • Every employee analyzes information, every day – Construction trends data isn’t something reserved for the family geek. If you can think, you can contribute to company growth.
  • Share and share alike – You may not be in a particular construction segment, but if you run across construction trends in a datasort that will benefit another company, share the information. They’ll return the favor. Networking with as many construction-industry companies is a formula for success.
  • Throw deep, run wide – Data-driven companies acquire more than local construction trends. They use varied information sources to grow their businesses. The more construction trend patterns you can process, the better.

The Best Analytics for Real-Time Leads in Your Market

Where the game used to be won or lost based on instinct and speed, it’s now all about crunching the right numbers.Jonathan Smoke, Metrostudy

Your data analytics should refer to what’s happening in your world, not another company’s in another area. One way to tap into what’s relevant information for where you are is our mapping tool:

  • Automatically count permit activity in a shown area
  • Customize what is shown by search criteria:
    • Contractor
    • Project type
    • Valuation
  • Display which contractors have the most activity in any given area
  • Identify all potential opportunities near you
  • Make digital notes on each project
  • Show all permit activity in the areas you choose

Contact the data analytics professionals at Construction Monitor. We’ll share ways to identify construction trends where you work…or want to work.

Showcase Your Completed Construction Projects

construction projects

A project that was built 40 years ago is a part of the history
of your company, but it is not necessarily interesting to
present-day clients.
Is Your Online Project Showcase Up to Par?

You likely have a large, 3-ring binder with construction projects statistics and photos. You used to carry it with you – stored in your truck – and it showcased construction projects from start to finish. Now you carry your laptop or another electronic device.

Construction Projects: Website Presentations

Today’s consumers want more information faster than ever before. Your website needs to display your completed construction projects with details in words and pictures. You need a dedicated tab for testimonials and project examples. Construction-industry professionals and property owners will often check your website (especially testimonials) before they contact you directly.

A Picture is Worth…

Photos are critical to your story of successful construction projects. If you can schedule overhead photo shoots at the end of each phase, they will present a different perspective.

Here are 5 tips for marketing your completed construction projects using photography:

  1. Candid camera – Photography of construction projects tends to be…boring. Candid shots of workers are great.
  2. Crop – Even if the photo is from a distance, if it’s clean and clear, you can crop out all the distractions to tighten the shot.
  3. Lighting – Excavations are tricky, so try flash photography, no-flash, and supplemental lighting to get the shot you want. When using sunlight, timing is everything. You want the sun at your back.
  4. Motion – You may see a photo of an idle bulldozer as a work of art, but it plays better if the bulldozer is doing something. Try to capture the activity; the flow of a construction project. 

Tell Your Story

The portfolio should not have PDF and MS Office document attachments. Opening separate files make the use of the site cumbersome.aec-business.com

In addition to a construction projects tab on your website, your blog is another way to cite previous work. Use SEO (search engine optimization) in your content to garner as many internet search hits as possible.

Construction industry companies are putting technology to work for more leads…more profit. Construction Monitor takes big data and makes it relevant and manageable for your business. Contact Construction Monitor to learn how to use building permit data for marketing development.

Essential vs. Non-Essential Construction During COVID-19

Construction during COVID-19

Retail stores and other commercial businesses have adjusted to the COVID-19 pandemic as possible. Social distancing governs how we live, work, shop, and play. We’re living in a strange time now.

There’s been much discussion about essential and non-essential services in the United States. How we do business in the construction industry is greatly altered.

“Essential” construction industry projects are prioritized and may resume quickly. “Non-essential” construction projects may be on hold another month. Or longer.

Essential Construction

San Francisco has defined essential vs. non-essential construction for in-the-works projects. There are 8 categories of essential construction projects that may continue working if they follow social distancing requirements:

  1. Affordable housing/income restricted residential units’ development
  2. Construction necessary to safeguard existing construction sites
  3. Construction/repairs for Essential Businesses’ properties
  4. Critical, non-commercial services projects involving homeless, economically disadvantaged, special-needs, and/or elderly
  5. Healthcare projects directly related to COVID-19 response
  6. Projects directly involved with maintenance, operation, or repair of Essential Infrastructure.
  7. Public works projects
  8. Shelters/temporary housing (not including hotels/motels)

The Gray Areas

Companies must follow state-and-local-government-specific construction guidelines. In most areas, non-essential projects are on hold. “New parts of a non-essential infrastructure project” may not be started. However, if your project falls under the non-essential category, there are situations in which you might be able to complete work.

For example:

  • Completion is permissible if the work needed to shut down the project is equal to/more than completing the project.
  • If a housing project has a defined percentage of affordable housing, construction may continue.
  • New housing starts must meet a “critical need.”
  • Residential renovations may continue if the continuance is necessary for safety/functionality.
  • Residential work on vacant properties may proceed if the work will make the property habitable. Construction can be completed to guarantee usable:
    • Bathrooms
    • Ceiling/walls paint (for sanitation to prevent mold/vermin infestations)
    • Electricity
    • HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning)
    • Kitchens
    • Plumbing
  • Roof installation can continue for weather protection.
  • You’ve got 3 walls built. You can build the fourth wall so the structure “stands secure.”

Site-Specific Health and Safety

By now you have developed your company’s site-specific health and safety plan, based on COVID-19 Construction Field Safety Guidelines. Record-keeping is critical: You will need to be able to track employee movements and note potential exposure events.

Be prepared. Soonyou’ll need to work harder…and smarter.

Construction Monitor’s success depends on your success. And the success stories for 2020 will be the construction industry-related businesses that used construction data to gain insight and develop marketing strategies. Call 800-925-6085 or contact Construction Monitor to learn more.

What Does COVID-19 Mean for the Construction Industry?

construction industry

By April 10, 2020, the Associated General Contractors of America revealed more than half of the construction firms in the United States had stopped work and 40 percent had laid-off employees, due to the coronavirus pandemic. 74 percent are seeking loans using the new Paycheck Protection Program.

In one week’s time, the number of canceled projects more than doubled. Shortages, including personal protection (masks) and construction materials, were reported; a small percentage of contractors reported equipment shortages.

“The construction industry is ready to rebuild our economy,” said AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr, “But that can’t happen without strong federal support and investments.”

EPC Contracts Will – or Won’t – Protect Construction Firms

Projects that aren’t being abandoned will need to return to the table for renegotiations, but not quite yet. No one is able to predict when our country will return to nearly normal.

All bets are off regarding future market shifts. No one can recall dealing with anything like this. Ever. Every industry in the world has felt the impact of COVID-19.

Most project developers feel as if we’ve gone far beyond standard “force majeure” language in construction contract terms. “Contractors will likely re-think whether traditional exclusions for relief are acceptable,” said law firm White & Case.

EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) projects have been scuttled due to government-imposed regulations. Cities, state, and federal shelter-in-place requirements may impact force majeure unless there are changes in law; specifically, changes in the language of some laws. Contracts between construction firms and developers and stakeholders/investors will come under close scrutiny.

Recovery is Guaranteed

We’re Americans. We always come together in times like this and we will come back better for it. Try to avoid hard-and-fast business decisions based on economic advisories. However…

After examining the numbers – coronavirus and economic trends – here are what equity analyst Preston Caldwell and CFA Karen Andersen suggest:

  • Restrictions will begin lifting in June 2020.
  • Social distancing measures will return as the virus resurfaces throughout the year.
  • The dire predictions regarding long-term economic disruption are incorrect.
  • Fiscal stimulus should prevent a collapse in demand.

“Overall, we still expect a modest long-run economic impact, with GDP down 0.9%,” said the researchers. “In our view, a COVID-19 recession doesn’t fit the mold of a 2008-style recession with longer-lasting economic impact.”

Refer a Friend and Read Construction Monitor on Your Kindle Fire

Use this time to prepare for a construction industry economic upswing. And stay connected with us. Construction Monitor is the construction industry source for applied building permit information. Call 800-925-6085 or contact us today.

We’ll send a new Kindle Fire to you if your friend purchases an annual subscription. (This also applies to friends that were members before 2013.)

Using Construction Data to Compare Market Share

market share construction data

“Market share” is the percentage or portion of the market controlled by a company or its products/services. If you’re the largest distributor of construction widgets in Maricopa County, AZ, you have the majority market share.

You should use construction data analytics to keep an eye on other companies. (They may try to cut into your market share.)

Perhaps you would like to target another market; a different location. You need to evaluate your competitors. What market share does each company have and what are their vulnerabilities? Construction data using last year’s building permit information and historical trends will give you the numbers you need.

How to Calculate Your Market Share

There’s an easy, logical formula to calculate your construction-industry widget sales market share. First, pick the timeframe, such as 2Q 2019.

Take your total revenue, 2Q 2019 and – this is where it gets tricky – find the total sales revenue for all construction widgets in your market.

Divide your revenue by the total revenue and you now have your market share percentage. Or you could simply request a construction data detailed statistics report.

Markets Vary by Location

For every 1,000 average single-family homes built,
2,975 jobs are created.
Builder magazine

New home building trends show an overall drop in new housing between the mid-2000s and 2020. The world is so much smaller today! You should closely follow national and global industry trends. But you can’t lose sight of the fact that data for Mississippi may have no bearing on your company in Washington.

Coronavirus 2020 and You

Put your market share information to work, and do it now, while you’ve got some “down” time. This is no time to spend working jigsaw puzzles at home (Although many of us in the construction industry enjoy that particular hobby).

Pull the reports you need from Construction Monitor, then contact us and ask one of our construction data professionals for suggestions on how to implement a market-share action plan using construction data. Call 800-925-6085 to learn more.

Meanwhile, we wish continued good health for you and your loved ones.

Can Construction Data Help Your Appliance Business?

construction data

The small home appliance market forecast¹ for 2020-2026 was released in February. The small home appliance market includes:

  • Food Preparation Appliances
  • Heating Appliances
  • Irons
  • Personal Care Appliances
  • Small Kitchen Appliances
  • Vacuum Cleaners

The large home appliance market² includes:

  • Air Conditioners
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Refrigerators
  • Television
  • Washing Machines
  • Others

If you sell appliances – small or large – you’re part of the construction industry, which means construction data can help you develop marketing strategies for tough times. Like today.

Use Construction Data to Strategize

The coronavirus pandemic may not have caught us completely by surprise. But few could have predicted the global shut-down for many industries, including the appliance market.

Contractors and homeowners are concerned about income, but when the economy bounces back – and it will – construction data tools will have you poised to take control of your geographic market share.

Timing is Everything

The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work. -Harry Golden

It’s slow right now; that can be a good thing. Developing real-time leads using building permits information is going to give you a competitive edge. Now is the time for you to lay the foundation to better your business. Building reports generate construction data that can be sorted by project information such as: 

  • Address
  • Scheduled start date
  • Types/job specifics
  • Value

How to Boost Your Appliance-Industry Business

Your first task is to decide what type of construction data will best provide the information you require. Building permit tools are available. Plugging them in is your job.

Basic construction data information may give you exactly what you need. It will also tell you the top 15 general contractors you should cultivate in any area of the U.S. (It’s free.)

Sometimes, more really is more:

Powersearch – Choose from:

  • Architects
  • Contractors
  • Developer/tenants
  • Owner/builders
  • Owners

…Then select residential and/or commercial construction. Whether it’s in-the-works new builds or temporarily paused renovations, connect with decision-makers. Let them know when they’re ready for appliances, you’ll be ready.

Construction Monitor: 30 Years of Construction Data Development

Startups must work hard to overcome experienced competitors. Established companies work even harder to reinforce their brand.

We understand what your business needs to succeed, and we want to help. Construction Monitor is the flagship building permits reports information source, and we work hard to be the best.

Let us partner with you today for a better tomorrow.

¹https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/small-home-appliance-market-2020-global-industry-analysis-size-share-growth-trends-key-players-and-forecast-to-2026-2020-02-06
²https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/home-appliance-market-overview-2020–impact-of-industry-peers-driving-factors-distributors-wholesalers-end-use-sector-by-region-by-country-forecast-to-2026-2020-01-27

Using Construction Data to Improve Your Website

construction data to improve your website

Construction data can help make your website more relevant and informational to your most likely prospective clients. Research shows interested customers don’t linger long on sites where products and services are not specific to the customer’s needs or locale.

Effectively prioritizing the information on a website helps generate maximum exposure and amplify sales potential. Utilizing construction data from building permits provides the raw information to accurately aim website content and attract the most suitable prospects.

Target your marketing

Data from building permits offers the opportunity to more accurately match services on your website to specific demands and/or a particular season. For example, building permit data can indicate particular areas where renovations and remodels are trending upward this spring. This information gives you an edge by enabling you to synchronize the information on your site to the rising demand in that specific area.

Localize specific services

Construction data can also pinpoint particular areas where certain services are increasing in demand. With accurate data, you’re empowered to target the site accordingly by emphasizing closely related services and products.

A spike in recent permits issued for water damage recovery might indicate areas where a market for structural repair and rehab of flood damage also exists. Increases in permits for installation of high-efficiency HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) and/or high-tech insulation retrofits could be a sign of increasing concern about local energy costs or environmental issues.

Track your competitors

Information about who’s getting what kind of work—and where—can be derived from permit data. If you learn contractors and other companies providing services similar to yours are thriving in a particular geographic zone or income level, that’s information you can use. For example, you can use such data to adjust your website content appropriately as well as localize your sales outreach to the most promising locale.   

Use construction data to effectively fine-tune your website content and engage potential customers in a targeted market.  Contact the professionals at Construction Monitor for more information.

Construction Data: What to Review This Spring

construction data

Construction data included in building permits changes with the seasons. Projects encountered in autumn, for example, are generally not the same as what’s happening in spring and early summer. Contractors and subcontractors can benefit from targeting their focus to fit the time of year.

Spring is the season for home improvements and remodeling. As the weather improves, houses open up and homeowners tend to start planning updates. Among the most popular are:

  • Kitchen renovation. Kitchen revamps typically appear in building permits as electrical alterations to accommodate the new appliances as well as replacement/expansion of kitchen plumbing. Cosmetic changes like installing new counters or cabinets, conversely, generally don’t require building permits in most locales.
  • Room additions. Adding a new room to a home or converting a garage is often not feasible during winter. As spring arrives, however, permit data shows that room additions spike. In addition to the general construction permit, there will be increases for specialty trades including electrical, HVAC, and plumbing.
  • Roofing repairs. That leaky or snow-damaged roof homeowners put up with all winter requires a permanent fix now that the weather’s improving. Any roofing work more complex than a simple single patch shows up in building permit data, including new shingles and subroof repair.  
  • Window replacement. Cold drafts and heat loss due to aging single-pane windows have taken their toll this winter. As summer approaches, the installation of new energy-efficient windows is often on the agenda. Because installing dual-pane energy-efficient windows usually involves alterations to the window opening or other structural changes, it requires a permit.
  • HVAC and associated work. Residents ready to upgrade a central air conditioner or furnace often put it off until outdoor temperatures moderate in spring. Replacement of a central A/C or furnace—or associated work such as replacing or extending HVAC ductwork—requires permitting and appears in building permit data for that locale.

Reviewing construction data for season-specific projects helps keep work and profits consistent as the calendar changes. Contact Construction Monitor for more details.